CLEVELAND — With a slickly-produced video montage of iconic spots around the city narrated by Tom Hanks, the Cleveland Indians officially announced that they will soon become the Cleveland Guardians, and the reaction to the unexpected announcement was pretty much what one would expect.
Local Twitter satirist/self-proclaimed “least popular sports commentator”/congressional candidate McNeil (@Reflog_18) dryly tweeted about the name’s origin:
Yup, we named our team after bridge statues.— McNeil (@Reflog_18) July 23, 2021
He then threw out a suggestion for the new mascot, which any millennial older than 30 would no doubt support:
If Olmec doesn’t replace Slider then what are we even doing with this name change? pic.twitter.com/UsLQhI9e6u— McNeil (@Reflog_18) July 23, 2021
James Gunn, the director of the films starring those other Guardians, threw out his own suggestion for a logo:
If their logo isn’t a raccoon with a machine gun I’m gonna be bummed. https://t.co/xNCSaQBiNq— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 23, 2021
Several on Twitter were quick to point out the eerie parallels to the 1989 film "Major League," which followed the trials of a fictionalized Cleveland Indians team.
Reminder that the movie Major League's opening shot is of one of the "Guardians of Traffic" statues 😎 pic.twitter.com/LzCgIPO6mQ— Tyler Buchanan (@Tylerjoelb) July 23, 2021
The winged “G” logo drew some other comparisons as well:
Many made light of the fact that “Indians” and “Guardians” are just a few letters off from each other:
I think they chose it cause it ends in dians and they can keep the same general font lol https://t.co/Z78tEsxuWY— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) July 23, 2021
And a Twitter account dedicated to another team name that was floating around the web as a possibility took the "L" in stride:
1. I think this was a mistake, but it's not as terrible as I imagined it would be.— #ClevelandSpiders 🕷⚾️🕸 (@spiders_six) July 23, 2021
2. What really matters is that the name is no longer based on an entire race of people this country tried to wipe out.
3. After #2, the most important part of the name is "Cleveland."#OurCLE https://t.co/A1Zx9tMLNp
Given the reasons for the name change, the move was of course picked up as a political football. Of course, these easy political points were often met with just-as-easy rebukes.
And just like that, the Indians adopt the dumbest, most pointless name in major professional sports https://t.co/r3W5UycoNV— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) July 23, 2021
Buddy there's *TWO* baseball teams named after socks— Matty 🟠'Rangers (@mateovonchicago) July 23, 2021
Goodbye history and tradition, hello woke political correctness. https://t.co/yJRaoN2Q3G— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) July 23, 2021
The stonemasons, iron workers, and laborers who worked on that bridge are just as much a part of the history and tradition of Cleveland. Why demean their memories? pic.twitter.com/lYlPuorlET— Oh, the Inanity (@jmcrowell) July 23, 2021
Still others with a penchant for dumb wordplay had to chime in as well:
I'm pleased that Cleveland baseball is finally taking an interest in my security.— Ian Cross (@Iantcross) July 23, 2021